LEAven Blog


Retirement Questions Are More than Just Financial

Leslie has turned her entry for our blog over to Paul Snyder from Concordia Plans. Many thanks to Paul and the Financial Education team for their entry and expertise.

Thinking about your retirement raises many questions such as:

  • What will make up my income stream?
  • Will I have enough money to do the things I want to do?
  • How much will healthcare cost?

These are all important questions, but have you also prepared yourself emotionally for how retirement will change your life?

Planning for your retirement is much more than just looking at the numbers. You also need to have an answer to these questions as you prepare to retire:

  • Why do I want to retire?
  • What will I do with my time once I retire?
  • Who do I want to be in retirement?

Even if you’ve started thinking about retirement, you might not have stopped to ask yourself these important questions. As a teacher, your life is integrated into your ministry. It’s not just the 40 hours (or more) each week you spend in the classroom, it’s the preparation time, meeting with students and parents, coaching, and participating in all of the other activities that are a part of Christian education.

So when you’re thinking about retiring, ask yourself, “If I’m retiring from my current position, what is it that I’m retiring to do or to become?” Maybe you’re retiring because you’re interested in volunteering somewhere. Maybe it’s to become a person of leisure. Maybe it’s to spend more time with your family. What do you want your life to look like in retirement? If someone asks you as a retiree, “What do you do?” What will you say about who you are in retirement?

Making decisions about who you are and who you want to be in retirement will actually help you with the financial decisions of retirement planning. For example, if you don’t know what you’ll be doing with your life in retirement, how will you know what sort of an income stream you’ll need to finance that lifestyle? And, if you have big plans for the things you want to do once you’re retired, knowing these plans will help you plan financially so you can accomplish them.

Even though your retirement situation will be unique, you’re not alone in the planning process. In addition to taking your concerns to the Lord, make sure you also have discussions with your spouse (if applicable) or other family members, financial professionals, and recent retirees. Ask them what worked and what to avoid.

Finally, don’t forget to talk with one of the Financial Educators at Concordia Plans. They not only can walk you through your retirement benefits and help you understand some of the financial decisions you’ll need to make, but they can also walk you through the “who do you want to be in retirement” questions, too. You can set up a phone or virtual appointment by sending an email to MoneyMatters@ConcordiaPlans.org.

Remember, you’re not just moving away from your vocation as a teacher, you are preparing to transition to a new and different vocation—that of a happy retiree!

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Leslie Rudzinski holds a Master's degree in Family Life Ministry from Concordia Nebraska. Leslie's husband Kevin is the Science teacher at St. Paul's and together with their four children have served in ministry for 25 years in several congregations and schools in Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, and Indiana.

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